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Philippines boosts marketing in India to reverse fortunes
Rohit Kaul, reporting from SATTE, New Delhi, January 30, 2015

AFTER witnessing a decline in visitor numbers from India in 2014, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT) will step up marketing efforts in the India this year to arrest the arrivals slide.


The Philippines recorded 60,000 Indian arrivals last year, down from about 100,000 in 2013, with typhoon Haiyan that hit the country in November 2013 cited as one of the reasons for the dip.


In what it hopes to be a game-changing measure, the DoT has proposed to the Philippine government to waive visa requirements for Indian nationals holding a valid visa to the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen states and Singapore.


“This proposal will be decided by 1Q and is currently being evaluated by the national government. If given a go-ahead, the scheme will be valid for two years,” said DoT secretary, Ramon Jimenez Jr.


The DoT has doubled its marketing budget for the Indian market for 2015. “We are going to invest in the Indian market in a way we have never done in the past. We will be more active from a marketing and communication point in India. Our focus is on cities that include New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad,” Jimenez added, without disclosing the exact figures.


The NTO is also working towards establishing direct connectivity between both countries. “We expect to hold discussions with India’s national carrier Air India soon,” Jimenez revealed.


Later this year, the DoT will organise a mega fam trip, its biggest ever in India, for around 100 participants including travel consultants and media personnel.


The Philippines is targeting 150,000 Indian tourist arrivals in 2015.

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